Sarah has been a Christ follower for more than 20 years. She joined the CTPM board, because she believes churches need education and women need advocates in the church. She hopes to see Called to Peace grow in influence, not for its namesake, but for God’s glory to be seen through places where it “shouldn’t” be found– in places of darkness and sin.
The reason Sarah is so passionate about this is because she and her husband Holt have experienced God’s amazing glory and redemption firsthand. Holt grew up in an abusive household and while he didn’t want to repeat patterns from his home, he did not make an effort to learn new methods of relating to others. When he got upset, he resorted to what he knew, which were basically emotionally and psychologically abusive patterns of relating.
Sarah knew things weren’t right but no matter what she did, he wouldn’t get help. She pretended a lot to friends and family because it was easier than admitting the difficulties. Besides, when she did admit to them, people simply gave pat answers such as “lower your expectations” and “marriage is hard.”
In 2016, a counselor recommended she read The Emotionally Destructive Marriage by Leslie Vernick, and through this book she began to see that separation was needed. In 2017, with the help of a couple from church, she initiated a separation. Holt respected the couple that was helping them, and the man met with him on a weekly basis for the next year. He also enrolled him in an abuser’s intervention group, and set him up with a Biblical and a psychologist. By God’s grace and wisdom, Sarah and Holt renewed their vows in April 2018. Through these experiences Sarah gained a passion to help others see how much damage toxic relationships can do, and how a lack of knowledge can make things worse.
Professionally, Sarah is a nurse practitioner and helps run a clinic for a federally qualified health center. She and Holt have 3 children, ages 11, 9 and 6. They are members of The Summit Church in Durham.